The Squamish Seniors’ Centre is being re-named The 55 Activity Centre, with expanded hours, new décor, and a broader programming with a focus on increasing membership and participation from a greater number of people at the under-utilized facility.
While daytime programming will be focused on continuing to meet the needs of the 55 plus population, evening and weekend programming will broaden the scope of offerings, and subsequent interest in the centre for adults of all ages, across a wide range of interests and abilities. The 55 programming will have a focus on health and wellness, visual and performing arts, social opportunities and events, education, and intergenerational connections.
The changes are a result of the Squamish Seniors Centre Revitalization Project, whose recommendations were endorsed by Council in July. Over 2,100 individual survey comments from 437 surveys were generated. 71 percent of respondents were aged 50 years or older. Programs offered at The 55 Activity Centre, located at 1201 Village Green Way, will begin in September. A list of programs is available in the online Fall Program Guide, or via a brochure available for pickup at The 55, or at Brennan Park Recreation Centre.
District of Squamish and the Squamish Seniors Centre Society have also bworked together to get a brand new, 15-seat bus, for the seniors. The seniors centre society contributed $15,000 towards the goal. The new bus is expected to arrive in August. The Senior Centre Society will have the use of the bus for at least one day per week and will enable the seniors to explore areas that were out of their reach previously, said Mike Sherlock, the president of the Squamish Seniors Centre Society.
“This will enable us to visit many places such as Van Dusen Gardens, Granville Island, Night Markets, Park Royal, as well as many other places that were previously out of our reach. One very important benefit will be to enrich the wellness and lives of the older members of our community, especially those who would otherwise be house bound, who would not able to drive, or walk very far,” he said.
Coun. Doug Race said Squamish has an incredibly active and vibrant population of aging adults in Squamish, many of whom don’t yet self-identify as being a senior. “Changing the name and expanding new programming into the evening and weekend hours will aim to reach a new audience to help us increase the use of the facility.”